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Painted Brain | Only The Good Die Young: The Poetry Of Stewart Lupton
an original poem by Stewart Lupton
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  • April 7, 2017

Only the Good Die Young: the poetry of Stewart Lupton


Pale pals, pots and pans,

we modulate through harm.

We ride our bathtubs to the bottom of the East River

in search of the second sleep of night;

fix a shopping cart as a sidecar

in case the bathtub doesn’t work right.

We are marred to an unfaithful world in a sulfurous green light.

A blue star does its part for shoplifters in the woods;

it’s prenatal syntax for problem children in year 16.

Tetanus plus catharsis.

Name tags and needles

where people ate themselves.

Flip-book sex shows through wired glass,

and a grape Nehi on the first day out of the hospital.


Pale pals, pots and pans,

we modulate through harm.

The yawn is ripped from the mornings mouth

as our souls are weighed in orange peel ashtrays.

I am dumbstruck by a dump-truck.

I hold my hand over my heart as failure tugs me across the street

to a twenty-year come down that leaves me conditional,

dry-bawling at the trustee for them to take the helmet off.

No flag for this country,

of Dante wolves and illegal brambles,

beer bottle sunsets and ambulance moons.

I would core my memories to run,

but love pummels me and holds me in check.

The stoplight trines with my iris as blurred red cathedrals

suspend themselves in geometry with no home.

I am dumbstruck by a dump-truck.

Pale pals, pots and pans,

we modulate through harm.


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  • Poetry

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